about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.

When Dad Is Away.

Casey has been traveling for business this week.  I don’t usually talk about it when he’s gone, but now that he’s en route back to us I thought I’d share a bit of what the C-man and I have been up to these past few days.

Even though I’m used to being at home with Cullen while Casey is at work, it feels really different when I know he’s not downtown.  I did my best to plan as much as possible, and to fill up a lot of my free time so the days didn’t feel too long or lonely.

I also baked.  A lot. 

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On Tuesday it was really rainy and gloomy outside, so Cullen and I hibernated in the house for most of the day.  I entertained both of us by taking approximately 3,000 photos of him. 

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When the sun finally broke through the clouds in the early evening, we went for a stroll to get some fresh air, and ended up running into a friend on the trail – what a nice surprise!  We walked and talked – it was great to get in some friend time after being cooped up all day. 

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Tuesday night Cullen went on some sort of sleep strike.  He got up three times instead of his usual once, which left us both a little grouchy come Wednesday morning.  Luckily we had these.

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I was hosting moms group this week, so I made Ashley’s triple chocolate donuts – but I made them into mini cupcakes!  This is one of my new favorite recipes.  I can’t stop making them.  Or eating them.

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I had a freshly baked loaf of blueberry banana bread too.  We always try to have some sort of snack or treat on hand during moms group since we meet during lunch.

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And a big bowl of organic strawberries, so that there was something other than just baked goods. 

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Cullen and I picked out some favorite toys and cleared out an area where he could play with his friends.  This picture cracks me up.  Like, come on over guys, I’m waiting

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Of course despite the fact that he is surrounded by toys, he chooses to eat the toy basket. 

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His buddies came over and played for a few hours.  Can you see that two of them are wearing the exact same outfit?  What are the chances of that?  Too funny.

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After moms group we cleaned up, played together for the afternoon, and after a long round of battling him with the bottle, he went to sleep.  I headed back to the kitchen to get ready for…a dinner party!  Who am I?

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Okay not really a party, but I had three other friends over for a fun girls’ dinner – something I hadn’t done in way too long.  Actually in over a year.  The entire time we’ve lived in Seattle, I have never had anyone over for dinner.  Strange. 

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I tend to get intimidated when cooking for groups.  I also worry that because I cook and write about food for a living, people will have really high expectations.  And they should, you know, since I should be able to cook.  And I can, but after sleepless nights and long days of baby wrangling, sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my mojo by dinner time.

But dinner was great, the food was decent, and the company was excellent.

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Jen even brought an assortment of kombuchas so we could all do samplings throughout our meal.  These are my people. 

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I stayed up too late talking with friends, and then even later trying to finish up my work.  Just as my head hit the pillow around midnight, the monitor kicked on – not so fast mom.  Cullen was up every few hours, seeming to need to eat, snuggle, and be soothed much more than usual.  After only three hours of sleep, I finally brought him into bed with me around 5am, desperate for a few more. 

We’ve all kind of been in a fog today. 

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After 72 hours of round-the-clock-no-one-to-help-someone-save-me baby care (and dog care!), I am more than ready to see Casey walk through the door.  Although it’s not like he’s been on vacation.  Poor guy has gone from Seattle –> Indiana –> Ohio –> Indiana –> Charlotte –> Seattle in just three days.  So I think we’re all very ready for the weekend.

I’ve only been on my own for a few days, and many many times I’ve though about how much respect I have for single moms, or moms who deal with deployments and other circumstances that cause prolonged separations.  Heroes, I tell ya. 

And on that note, Cullen is up again.  That’s my cue!  Can you tell I’m tired?

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Hurry home, dad!

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67 Comments so far
Leave a comment

sana     at 10:30 pm

How fun! What did you make for dinner?


Julie     at 10:33 pm

I know what you mean about hosting dinner parties! Even when just another couple comes over, I feel nervous, like they expect some gourmet meal because I blog about food. I also feel like I need to make everything super healthy and delicious. So stressful! :-) Glad it all went well; must be wonderful that he’s coming home tonight!


Lauren @ Sassy Molassy     at 11:16 pm

Whew! I just got more tired listening to that. You are a trooper, lady! And those baking projects – yum!


Amber K     at 11:55 pm

I have to agree with another comment, I’m getting tired just reading all of that! And I have the utmost respect for all of the hardworking single moms who do it all, all the time.


Alexis     at 12:49 am

Random thought, but I was talking with a friend the other day about our first jobs ever (while daydreaming of winning the lottery, we talked about how long we’ve been working!) and my first job was at age 11 and it was a kinda fake babysitting. Our next door neighbor paid me to come over M-F for 1-1.5 hours to care for her new baby while she worked out in her basement. I remember that when I’d get there he’d be napping, then he’d wake up during her workout and I’d usually only watch him while awake for 30 mins or so. I was way too young to be alone with a baby, but she was right downstairs in case I needed anything, and I got to hang out and watch TV until the baby woke up. The easiest money I ever made, and I’m pretty sure I got paid something ridiculously cheap too.
After we talked about it, it made me think that when my husband and I have kids, I’d love to do something exactly like that. It gave the mom her time to workout without interruption and for such a low price and low stress (you’re still so close to the baby). That might be something that’ll work for you to have your free time to run on the treadmill while Casey is at work or traveling!


Meg     at 3:02 am

ah! scared about when Matt leaves for work or deploys–you’re so strong!

Ps can you make the chocolate donuts with regular flours?


Amy     at 4:04 am

Whew! What a crazy few days. My husband has to travel for one night when our (soon-to-arrive) baby will be about 4 weeks old — I will channel your confidence because I’m scared!! But as hard as I know it is, your post is encouraging to me. Thanks! Enjoy having your husband home and get some rest!

(And I have big plans to make blueberry-banana bread this weekend. Yum!!)


Simply Life     at 4:23 am

oooh, what a sweet post – I love you how those photos so perfectly match your words- my favorite is when Cullen is ready and waiting for his friends to come over- too cute!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 4:45 am

I’ve never had to be on my own for more than 1 day with my twins. I feel for families that has one parent that travels. My friend’s husband travels 3 days a week and she has 4 kids under the age of 5(one set of twins). She is very lucky to have family to help but still.

Bravo to you for being so ambitious while Casey was away! You may have been exhausted but at least you kept busy. Hoping you get some rest this weekend!


Kelly@Runmarun     at 4:50 am

Emily- you are such a trooper! Way to hang in there through a really tough week! We have had a few nighttime issues with our 6 month old also- what gives!? Your sense of humor really comes through in this post- props to you for having one after the challenges you have faced. Enjoy your weekend and such cute photos of Cullen!


Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine     at 4:54 am

I was just going to say almost the same thing as Kelly…our 6 month old has decided to wake up quite a few more times lately too. And usually she isn’t fully awake, but it takes a couple of trips in by either me or my husband to cuddle, rock, or soothe her back to sleep. I know we could likely let her cry most nights, but then we are all up! I sometimes feel as if I am never making the right decisions at night…but then she gives me those huge grins all day and all the sleeplessness and impatient anger I feel melts away. But I wouldn’t be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the days when she sleeps totally content all night!


Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 5:34 am

Wow you and Casey are both troopers! I hope you both have a relaxing weekend.

I love having people over for dinner, so fun but definitely a little nerve wracking trying to impress your guests. I bet most of your friends are just happy they didn’t have to cook :)


Kamaile     at 5:36 am

Enjoy your weekend Emily! :)


Lauren     at 7:05 am

It is so hard going it alone. You sound like you did a great job. My husband is in the music industry and had an out of town project for 2 weeks when our son was only 3 months. It was scary at first (especially because my son slept so terribly which always happens when dad leaves)but it really helped me to get motivated to attend more mommy events and plan fun activities to keep us occupied. It also primed us for when he was gone for 2 months at 8&9 months and another month when our son was a yyear old. Now I feel like we can handle anything. Not only do I respect military moms but also military dads away from their kids for multiple months. Definitely heros


Carrie     at 7:23 am

Yikes, sounds like you all need a weekend!


Jen     at 7:25 am

Ha, Wyatt has that same outfit too! :)

I’m with you. So much respect for single moms. They’re super-heroes.


SueP     at 7:25 am

Just musing that perhaps baby Cullen is missing his dad and hence the disturbed sleep…I remember when my daughter was just 10-11 months old, her dad was away for over a week. When he came home, he kindly let me sleep the next morning. But little miss had other ideas….she kept coming into the bedroom to get me. Finally I got up and she happily toddled from her dad to me and back again. All was right in her little world.

Perhaps Cullen is just wondering where his Papa is. Happy reunion!


Brianna Reply:

Ditto ^^ My baby girl is only a couple of weeks older than Cullen and on nights that her daddy doesn’t get home before she goes to bed she sleeps horribly. Last week he didn’t see her for two days straight because of work and she was up constantly. When daddy finally reappeared, she slept like a log. I don’t know how single moms do it either! Days when dad isn’t around to “relieve” you at some point are the worst.


Ashley     at 7:36 am

Loved this post, Em!! What a cuuutie pie. He’s getting so big and looks really long! The mini cupcakes look awesome. LOVE how the light is hitting them in the first photo. So glad you are enjoying that recipe. :) Also happy to hear you had a great night with friends and that C had a nice play date with friends as well! xo


Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride     at 7:51 am

Aww too cute they were wearing the same outfit!!!

You rock, a week alone, baking AND a dinner party? Amazing :)


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 7:57 am

Whoa I feel you! I’d be a walking zombie. Casey will be home before you know it. Maybe Cullen will do better with a tiny break with Casey watching him for a bit too? Never know.

Glad you were able to squeeze in a dinner party though. Sometimes you need the company of other adults for some adult chit-chat.


Leah     at 7:58 am

It’s my busy travel season for work so I feel ya! It’s good to have a holiday weekend home with family coming up…and starting in just 1 hour!!


Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 8:09 am

Girls night sounded fab! Get some rest this weekend and enjoy some downtime sounds like you need it.


Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 8:38 am

oh my goodness gracious, every time i look at your photos of cullen, i just can’t get enough! he’s SO cute! i still want to bake that blueberry banana bread!


Coco     at 8:40 am

Oh man, what a bummer! At least you had some girl-time to break it up.. I hope the rest of the week goes quickly for you :)


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 9:20 am

You sound so busy!! If you don’t mind me asking, did you know anyone when you moved to Seattle? I’ve recently moved back to Philly and I have a hard time meeting people (probably because I’m in an awkward stage- right about to graduate college in May but living in a corporate apartment). Any tips for getting involved in things?


Emily Malone Reply:

Nope, didn’t know anyone. I’ve been sort of lucky to meet most of my friends here through the blog and Babble! It’s hard moving to a new city and not knowing anyone – I know that feeling well. Don’t know if you’re a runner, but I always think running groups are a great way to make friends!


Renee     at 9:26 am

Just when I was reading your blog thinking, “Wow. She hosts a dinner party AND has a baby AND she’s home alone with him, and I can’t even get one together sans baby …” you write that you, too, get intimidated cooking for groups. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in that … your honesty is always exactly what I need to hear!

Enjoy your weekend!


Gina     at 10:17 am

Dinner was excellent:) I hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend…It’s supposed to be nice!


Emily @ Life on Food     at 10:29 am

I wish you a very restful weekend. I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off of the mini muffins either. Perfect for sharing!


Samantha     at 11:20 am

What a sweet post. :) I am baking up a storm right now too. I think part of it is the weather.

That is so great about your dinner party with your friends! I bet no matter what you make it comes out good, but I can appreciate your apprehension.

Have a gentle weekend and a great day. You have to be so tired!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie     at 12:09 pm

Yeah I can’t imagine being a single mom. I assume the supermom hormones double just because they know what they have to do and we just struggle through the hard parts knowing we’ll get relief. Definitely heroes.

I want your bread and doughnut muffins.


Kathy     at 12:31 pm

That bread looks so yummy. Did you make the cupcakes per Ashley’s recipe exactly, using Eggs, etc? I am vegan and want to try making them without the eggs, and by adding chia or something like that. They look great.


Emily Malone Reply:

Yep, I made them with eggs!


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)     at 12:39 pm

I have to agree with you about being intimidated by cooking for lots of people. I love it but it also makes me nervous too! Especially since I have started culinary school. Expectations are always high!

There isn’t a way to make this sound not obnoxious, but also so many people react to it by being like “oh I’ll never be able to cook for you again!”, which I hate because I love being cooked FOR too! :)


Emily Malone Reply:

I totally get it, and I have people say that all the time to me. PLEASE cook for me! Haha. :)


Angie S (Simply Yogini)     at 1:33 pm

Love the picture of Cullen with his friends, where did you find a mom group with babies his age? I’m trying to fibd one here in Atlanta for Easton and I but most I’ve found the babes are older. Any suggestions?


Emily Malone Reply:

I met two of my mom friends through email (they read the blog/Babble), and they introduced me to the rest! Maybe your OB office would know of some young mom groups?


Angela     at 2:05 pm

I give you huge props for doing it on your own for a few days!!!


elizabeth     at 2:44 pm

I like your pasta bowls, where are they from?


Emily Malone Reply:

Crate and Barrel!


elizabeth Reply:



reader     at 2:49 pm

I’m old enough to be your mother and have grown children. I enjoy reading your blog, but can’t help giving my sage advice. Casey seems to be working entirely too hard, he is missing so much of Cullen and putting undue stress on you. You seem kind of lost since you moved to Seattle. Has this job really been worth it? Looking back from my age I see it’s not the money or job but the time spent with the kids that really matters. Could Casey find another job closer to family, making less money but being home more, even if you had to get a part time job to help with expenses. You seem so sweet and I hate seeing you so stressed during what should be one of the happiest times of you life. Every age of a child has different stresses and worries but most of all joys. I’m sorry to tell you the sleep deprivation you feel now goes on forever (think teenagers being out at night). You just get used to it.

When they are grown you only remember the good times you shared as a FAMILY, and your children remember those times too. Sounds like you grew up in a one parent household and it seems Cullen is doing almost the same.

Sorry if I’m being intrusive, this is just the advice I would give my children. (but children never listen to their parents, you will find out too).


Elizabeth Reply:

I do not share this perspective. I do not have the wisdom of “old enough to be your mother,” as I am only 31. However, I think there are stresses to any life. The last 23 months of my daughter’s life have been BOTH the most stressful and the happiest. I think that’s parenthood in a nutshell.

Also – barf on the sleep deprivation is forever thing. (Sorry to say it so rudely, but jeez, talk about scaremongering). Our daughter slept terribly for 10 months and slowly started doing MUCH better after that. Since about 18 months, she’s slept 7:30 pm to 7:30 am nearly consistently. You do not “get used to” sleeping in 2-3 hour stretches – almost no one does that all of their child-rearing years.

Maybe I am giving too much credit to this comment by even responding.


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Elizabeth. :) I think it’s pretty normal for the first year (or more!) to be stressful too. I’m surprised that I seem so “lost” since I actually think I’m doing pretty well, haha. Glad to hear you are finally getting some sleep!


Emily Malone Reply:

While I appreciate your insight, I don’t think you’re getting the full picture, and perhaps it’s my fault that I haven’t painted it in enough light. I don’t post a lot of our daily life here, and our family posts are typically limited to the weekends, so it’s a very small glimpse to be passing judgement on. I’m surprised that you think I seem “lost” in Seattle, as I’ve actually made great friends and fallen in love with the city. I probably seem different than I did a year or two ago, but I think that’s natural given the life changes we’ve gone through (relocation, new baby, staying at home, etc). Casey has what is arguably considered the best job in the country that he could have in his field, so yes his hard work is worth it. He rushes home every day to see Cullen before bedtime (as many dads have to do), and we make weekends our priority family time. To say that he is growing up in a one parent household is both insulting and hurtful.


Sarah Reply:

Wow, “reader” – this is one of the most insulting comments I’ve ever read on a blog. How presumptuous of you and downright mean to imply those things about Emily’s husband. Maybe you should think about the way you deliver “advice” – could that be why your kids never listen to it?


Shannon Bell     at 6:05 pm

I just made the miso/tahini pasta sauce dish…SO delicious! It’s definitely a new alternative for when I’m craving a creamy dish, Thanks!!


crystal     at 10:16 pm

It’s so hard when you’re alone with the kids for more than the normal day. My husband has been out of town for things related to his best friend’s wedding 2 out of the last 3 weekends and the wedding hasn’t even happened yet. I don’t even try to get the kids to sleep alone when he’s gone, but part of it is b/c I hate to sleep alone too.


Emily     at 7:17 am

I feel you on the being on your own when husband is traveling. Get a babysitter! Although I am home full-time with my one year old, I realized (after several experienced moms suggested) at around 4 months that I am a much better mother when I get some relief during the day. I have a sitter comes two afternoons a week, for three hours. It makes such a huge difference. I come home re-energized and refreshed. Especially when going through sleep issues, the help is incredibly important.


Samantha     at 8:29 am

I couldn’t stand it anymore and tried this banana bread recipe last night. It is amazing. I would swear up and down that I hate banana bread but had read that you should use banana’s that aren’t black ripe and you might like it better. Needless to say, I can see why these loaves don’t last.

I also made the Miso Tahini Sauce. Wow. There used to be a restaurant in Seattle (Broadway area) known as the Gravity Bar. It was kind of ahead of its time and was probably one of the top reasons I would drive from North Bend to Seattle.

I know you have never eaten there because it was long before you moved to Seattle, but you pretty much nailed one of my favorite sauces they used to have on their bowls. Amazing.


Emily Malone Reply:

I’m so glad you liked the recipes! Thanks for letting me know. :)


Samantha Reply:

PS. I was thinking last night…because you don’t have too much going on already, have you considered teaching cooking classes?

Even just the occasional fun few hour sessions? Not necessarily the long series?


Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 12:02 pm

I’m glad to hear you had friends over to break up the monotony of the time without Casey there. It helps to talk and interact with other adults!


Kristin     at 12:25 pm

Ok I have to try that banana bread! My husband is a pilot and we are having a baby in May. I’m already dreading when he leaves on his first trip. You look like you’re doing a great job!!


Lara     at 5:06 pm

I hope Casey is back by now and you guys are out enjoying this gorgeous weather we’re having! Way to go for making it on your own while he was gone, that must have been rough.


Amy     at 3:36 pm

Oh man, I looked at that picture of Cullen and thought nothing of it, but then I read your “hey guys, come on over, I’m waiting” and seriously cracked up. That pose is absolute gold – amazing what the camera captures. I’m sure you’ll be looking at those 3,000 pictures in the future and being glad you took every single one.

I don’t comment often but I wanted to say thanks for putting so much work into your blog, Emily. You don’t post for the sake of posting – and it shows. I love your balance between recipes and the all-too-necessary doses of Cullen :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Amy!


Leah @ DeLeahLicious     at 6:09 pm

You are strong, Emily. I kind of know what it’s like. My fiance goes away for 2 weeks at a time. I can’t imagine what it would be like with a baby in the mix. Glad you found things to keep yourself busy!


Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 7:42 pm

That is so fun that all of the babies are so close in age! It will be so fun for y’all to watch them all grow up together!


Joanna @ Midwestern Bite     at 5:46 am

Two posts in a row with a picture of the banana bread… I just can’t take it anymore, I have to make this version. Your Greek Yogurt Banana Bread is currently my favorite recipe so I am excited to try this version now! I have a huge Sams Club sized bag of walnuts on hand and bananas and frozen blueberries are always a staple so I think I already have all these ingredients.

Glad your husband is home to help now… it’s difficult when they are away (or sick). We’ve gone through the same things, though fortunately my husband has never been gone longer than three nights in a row. We have family about an hour away, however this last time my son was smack in the middle of his “nobody but Mommy or Daddy” phase so they weren’t much help.

Do you ever really really miss Cinti? I miss having a stadium and getting to go to ball games! I don’t miss I-75 though….

Also, I think it is awesome there are so many boys in your Mommy group. All but one of the babies near P’s age in my Mommy group are girls. At least he will have his pick of prom dates someday!


Emily Malone Reply:

I miss Cincinnati all the time! But more the people than the city itself. I really love Seattle. And we have the Mariners here, although it’s not quite the same. :)


Katie     at 6:41 am

Such great pictures! I love Seattle and Cullen is adorable.


Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out     at 5:25 pm

I remember those days! Trying to get a million things done in a 30-45 minute nap window!

You’re doing great. Especially with Casey on travel. Chin up, Emily!


FullFlavoredLife     at 9:43 am

You guys sure stayed busy while Casey was gone. Looked like a nice play date and a fun dinner party! Thanks for sharing!


angela     at 7:14 am

I know you’ve mentioned it before but, what kind of carrier do you have (shown in the picture above)?


Emily Malone Reply:



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